Next week’s anticipated release of Marvel’s “Black Panther” (Disney) this Friday will reverse that trend. Early projections for this eagerly anticipatedAfrican-based superhero story directed by Ryan Coogler (“Creed”) are about $150 million, the total for all the films for last year’s three-day President’s Day weekend.
The openers this weekend totaled an expected $75 million. They represent three distinctive strains of mainstream studio product these days: a franchise sequel (“Fifty Shades Freed”), a hybrid animated-live action feature (“Peter Rabbit”) and a true-life heroic action dramatic re-enactment (“The 15:17 to Paris”).
Disconcertingly, last year’s three similar titles totaled $55 million more: “The Lego Batman Movie” at $53 million (more